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Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter Infections

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by Kellicker PG


A peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) infection occurs when bacteria enters the bloodstream through or around a central line catheter . A PICC is a long, thin tube that is inserted through a vein in the arm. The catheter is threaded through the arm vein until it reaches a larger vein close to the heart. Commonly called a PICC line, it is used to deliver medicine, nutrition, IV fluids, and chemotherapy .
Veins in the Arm
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If bacteria start to grow on the central line catheter , they can easily enter the blood and cause a serious infection. This can lead to a condition called sepsis , which occurs when bacteria overwhelm the body.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Society of Critical Care Medicine



Communicable Disease Control Unit
Manitoba Health

Health Canada



Central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: . Updated May 17, 2012. Accessed August 13, 2013.

Central venous catheter. American Thoracic Society website. Available at: . Accessed August 13, 2013.

Marschall J, Mermel LA, Classen D, et al. Strategies to prevent central line-associated bloodstream infections in acute care hospitals. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2008 Oct;29 Suppl 1:S22-30.


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